Learning How Bail Bonds Work in Georgia
To learn how bail bonds work in Georgia, residents will need to know if they are ever charged with a crime that requires bail, will set them free before the trial date. In fact, many bail bonds Georgia agencies operate under the same general rules and regulations as most other states in that they cannot charge above a certain fee for providing bail, but they do have some leeway when it comes to lending and other services.
The Bail Bonds System in Georgia
When a person is arrested for a crime, they are sent to jail where the booking process begins. For the most part, this process generally takes one to three hours depending on a number of factors. However, at the end of the process a judge will set a date of trial and the bail needed to free the defendant until the trial begins.
While in some cases the judge may release the defendant under their own recognizance which means that no money is required, setting a bail amount will provide the defendant with three choices;
- Stay in jail until the trial begins (studies show that staying in jail can hurt your case.)
- Pay the bail in cash
- Hire a bail bonds agent to provide the bail
Since staying in jail for weeks or months until the trial begins is not a pleasant option and since most people do not have the full bail amount in cash, the bail bonds agent is usually the most popular option. Licensed by the state, the bail bonds agent will charge a fee and then guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear for the trial date.
If the defendant does not appear at the appointed time, the bail bonds agent will be held responsible by the court. In response, the bail bonds agent may hire a bounty hunter to find and deliver the defendant to the court which will then alleviate the responsibility of the agent and return the bail money to them. Overall, the system in Georgia mirrors that of most other states in terms of how a bail bond agency works.
Georgia Bail Bonds Charges & Fees
In Georgia, the percentage a bail bond agency can charge is a little higher than the national average of 10%. This means that 12% to 15% is commonplace when it comes to the non-refundable amount which bail bonds agents will ask for their services. In addition, there are agencies that also provide lending services if the defendant does not have the money required for the fee. In these cases, collateral such as property or a vehicle may be necessary.
All other charges and fees will have to do with any lending services that the bail bonds agent may provide as they are not as strictly regulated as providing the bail itself.
This is basically how bail bonds work in Georgia and how residents can use to help select which agency is the right one for their needs.